Tag Archives: malika: warrior queen

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Dark Horse Will Publish YouNeek Studios’ Comics

Since 2012, Roye Okupe, has been building a universe of superheroes that spans centuries centered around African stories, crafted by African creators. Okupe’s YouNeek Studios graphic novels have joined Dark Horse as part of its’ publishing line.

Dark Horse will be publishing the entire line of previously self-published stories, along with never-before-seen bonus material starting with Malika: Warrior Queen, Iyanu: Child of Wonder, and E.X.O: The Legend of Wale Williams, and continue onward into new and never-before-seen stories.

In Malika: Warrior Queen, Malika inherits the crown from her father, but in the process the kingdom of Azzaz is split in half. After years of civil war, Malika finally unites all of Azzaz, expanding it into one of the largest empires in all of West Africa—but expansion will not come without its costs. Malika: Warrior Queen arrives September 7 2021.

Iyanu: Child of Wonder, the tale follows a teenage orphan with no recollection of her past. Suddenly Iyanu discovers that she has abilities that rival the ancient deities told in the folklore of her people. It is these abilities that are the key to bringing back an “age of wonders,” and Iyanu must begin her journey to save a world on the brink of destruction. Iyanu: Child of Wonder Volume 1 arrives September 21, 2021.

E.X.O.: The Legend of Wale Williams Volume 1 is an Afrofuturist superhero story about redemption set in the bustling metropolis that is Lagos, Nigeria. Wale Williams, who moonlights as the tech savy superhero E.X.O tries to save the city from a deadly group of emerging extremists, but first he must save himself. E.X.O.: The Legend of Wale Williams Volume arrives October 19, 2021.

YouNeek Studios’ Malika Gets Animated with a Teaser and Kickstarter

Malika is here! STOP EVERYTHING you’re doing and watch this amazing, 2-minute animated teaser trailer! YouNeek Studios is bringing their hit comic book series to animation and needs your help on Kickstarter. They’re hoping to make this into a full animated series.

The animated was 100% done in Nigeria and part of the goal is to raise awareness of the growing animation and comic book idustries in Africa and the talent that call the continent home.

Review: Malika: Warrior Queen Part Two

Claire Foy’s transformation as Queen Elizabeth in the Crown is something to see if you have never watched the show on Netflix. Her performance is one of those chameleon-like, where you wonder if that really is her voice, and at least for the next few years, people only think of her as this one role. The series also stands out in how it’s told. The “palace intrigue” moves the series. It’s what makes their history so interesting as many of the people that surrounded her had ulterior motives. She is one of the most recognizable examples of royalty.

The pressures of running a country is a lot for most people but having to do that and being part of royalty, is almost impossible to do. I always wondered how it would be for a monarch when she was also a warrior? The second volume of Malika, Warrior Queen explores that as enemies abound everywhere looking to take Azzaz from Malika, something she has spent a lifetime building.

As Malika takes her place among her people, a scene right out of Game Of Thrones, occurs leaving the royal court in shock, while we lose a beloved character, a once thought long dead character reappears from the shadows, one Malika is frozen in shock over. The Savior od Azzaz and her army unleash a palace siege as they look to take over the castle, one Malika barely survives and must flee to fight another day. We are introduced to the Olon Jin, an ancient group of gods, who are tasked with guarding relics, and know that Malika is the one true queen. This is where the reader is treated to a series of flashbacks, as to what happened to out mysterious intruder and the sometimes-volatile relationships that govern parents and children. Meanwhile, Meng has gotten wind of the upheaval that has taken place in Azzaz, as this may prove to be an opportunity for his army to conquer the prosperous kingdom.

To take back the kingdom, Malika must find an ancient sword with immeasurable power, one that she wielded before, but his time, she needed more than ever. Back in Azazz, the new ruler proves ruthless and heavy handed, showing no mercy and not caring for the consequences that come out of it, even staging a public execution. A final battle ensues which leaves Malika victorious but not without the cruel hand of fate intervening. By book’s end, an unforeseen beginning for the Warrior Queen awaits.

Overall, a powerful ending to major chapter of an incredible hero, one that readers will continue to gravitate to , for years to come. The story by Roye Okupe is action packed, layered and one that readers will not soon forget. The art by the creative team is simply gorgeous. Altogether, a book that feels like an ending for many reasons but is more a rebirth for so much more.

Story: Roye Okupe Art: Chima Kalu, Raphael Kazeem, Mohammed Agbadi,
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Malika: Warrior Queen Part One

When John Campbell’s book, “The Hero’s Journey”, is brought up in conversations on television and in lectures, it usually talks about male characters. The most prominent example that is brought up is Odysseus, as his journey which took many years, not only formed him as a hero but also a man, thus the hero’s journey. Another popular example, is of course, Luke Skywalker. Rarely, in these conversations, are a female protagonist, have ever been brought up.

There have been more than few characters that stand out in my mind in just about all forms of media. In To Kill a Mockingbird, although Atticus Finch, is the hero, Boo, is just as a strong a character, and almost even more integral to the plot. On TV, probably one of its most popular shows, Orange Is the New Black, is a story full of strong female protagonists, which initially focused on one the first season but ultimately expanded into just about all the characters’ stories being explored. This brings me, to one of the most interesting characters I have read in a long time, Malika, Warrior Queen.

In the opening moments of the book, we are introduced to a young lady training for battle in the city of Azzaz, little do we know, she would become the Queen of this empire. At her doorstep, is an army from the Ming Dynasty, looking to take her lands and enslave her people. She is joined by an old friend, who is known to his foes as the Windmaker, as he proves to more than just an ally, leaving her foe decimated. By the end of this volume, our heroine has gained victory but her troubles have not ended with the whisperings of evil in the form dark magic nearby.

Overall, a strong volume to a character will want to know, as this heroine is like nothing anyone has ever seen before, with traits that most writers would only give to a male protagonist.  The story by Roye Okupe feels like those 70s sword sagas and has all the grit of Conan. The art by Godwin Akpan, Chima Kalu, Raphael Kazeem, Paul Louis-Julie, Osas Asemota, Omotuyi Ebota and Collins Momodu, is pretty, lush, and masterful. Altogether, a great introduction, to a female hero that the world has always needed.

Story: Roye Okupe Art: Godwin Akpan, Chima Kalu, Raphael Kazeem, Paul Louis-Julie, Osas Asemota, Omotuyi Ebota and Collins Momodu
Story:10 Art:10 Overall:10 Recommendation: Buy

YouNeek Studios provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Roye Okupe Releases the First Chapter to Malika: Warrior Queen Part One, his Next Kickstarter

YouNeek Studios is bringing the graphic novel, Malika: Warrior Queen Part One to their fans. Malika will be a two part series, with part one (a 150-page book), due to be released Spring 2017. In the meantime, to launch the Malika Kickstarter, YouNeek Studios has released the first 20 pages (Chapter One) FREE

Set in fifteenth century West Africa, Malika: Warrior Queen Part One follows the exploits of Queen and military commander Malika, who struggles to keep the peace in her ever-expanding empire. Growing up as a prodigy, Malika inherited the crown from her father in the most unusual of ways, splitting the kingdom of Azzaz in half. After years of civil war, Malika was able to unite all of Azzaz, expanding it into one of the largest empires in all of West Africa. But expansion would not come without its costs. Enemies begin to rise within her council and Azzaz has grabbed the attention of one of the most feared superpowers the world has ever known: The Ming Dynasty. As Malika fights to win the clandestine war within the walls of her empire, she must now turn her attentions to an indomitable and treacherous foe with plans to vanquish her entire people.

Born in Lagos, Nigeria, Roye Okupe is a creative specialist who holds both a Bachelor’s and Master’s in computer science from The George Washington University. His passion for animation led him to found YouNeek Studios in 2012, an avenue that would allow him pursue his dream of creating a diverse library of superheroes. Under that umbrella, Roye wrote, produced and directed several animated productions including, but not limited to, 2D/3D animated short films, TV commercials, show openers, music videos and much more. These productions have allowed Roye to attain much prestigious recognition such as being #5 on Ventures Africa’s list of 40 African innovators to watch.

With the superhero genre currently at the height of popularity, Roye has made it a goal to create a connected universe of heroes, with origins from locations that are currently neglected and/or ignored. In August 2015, Roye released his debut graphic novel titled: E.X.O. The Legend of Wale Williams Part One, a superhero story set in a futuristic Nigeria. E.X.O. was received with critical acclaim.

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